Associated Student Government announced changes to campus shuttle routes that will take effect Fall Quarter, with the hope that the shuttle system will be more accessible and convenient for students.
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The Purple Route, Purple Express, Intercampus Shuttle and Ryan Field Shuttle will each operate under new routes intended to be more efficient and less confusing to students, according to a presentation prepared by ASG Vice President Tommy Smithburg and others, and presented to the Senate on Wednesday night.
“The common thread within each improved shuttle route is that no matter what shuttle you take, you are guaranteed to stop near the Arch, the Jacobs Center, and Tech,” Smithburg and others wrote in the presentation.
The presentation cited the Purple Route, for example, as serving “areas of campus with low demand.” The new route will run through Campus Drive and Lincoln Street, and will do a shorter loop around off-campus areas. The Purple Express will also run through Campus Drive, and will make seven stops instead of 11, for a “more simplified route.”
Student officials made the changes after conducting a study which found that more than half of student respondents did not use Northwestern’s shuttle system.
“We were a little alarmed” to learn of a sharp decline in students using shuttles in recent years, Smithburg said during his presentation to the Senate.
Smithburg noted that while about 54 percent of students surveyed said they did not use campus shuttles, only 7.6 percent said that they prefer to walk.
“We can actually have an active role in increasing ridership on the shuttles,” he said.
The presentation also suggested new names for each shuttle route, saying that the names of the Purple Express and the Purple Route caused confusion. If the name changes go through, the Purple Express would be renamed the Campus Loop. Student officials are still considering a new name for the Purple Route.
Chloe Benoist contributed reporting.